Tuesday, September 16, 2008


When you go to a place more than once you notice new things each time. Today I went back to a temple called "Futagoji" to study it a little more before I take my father's group on a tour there in October. It is a really peaceful temple set in wonderful grounds with little surprises around each corner. The priest there is always willing to answer any stupid questions I might have and today I came up with yet another silly question... is there any significance to the frog statues that appear in different places around the temple grounds? There is a big stone frog outside the main temple entrance that people have stuffed money into and if you look carefully at the last picture here you will see there are some silly frogs having a shoulder ride on the left etc. To me they don't quite fit with the seriousness of the place, but I wanted to know why they were there. The answer..... the person who made all the other statues liked frogs and threw them in as a bonus. In other words no meaning at all - sometimes trying to put meaning to everything we see is not necessary!
One thing I find a little frustrating at the temples and shrines here is that each place seems to have their own explanation for things. Today the priest I was talking to came up with a good explanation for this - he said that it is easier to think in terms of a department store. The overall concept is the same everywhere, based on the basic concepts that were brought over from India and China many years ago, but that all of the individual temples are like the speciality stores within the department store. They each have their own take on things and adapt them to suit their own "customers", environment etc. No relation to frogs, but a reasonable explanation all the same!
I almost forgot to add that it poured on the last day of our deck making so we have an almost finished deck! I think the finishing touches should be made this weekend. Fingers crossed the approaching typhoon doesn't blow it over before then.

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